Written by: J.P.G.

{Regrets and Heartaches is pure fiction. As I am writing this story, I am above the age of 21. If you want a story with lots of sex, look elsewhere. This is a love story. Seeing, as it is a love story, sex is in there, but it is in realistic balance in the characters' lives.

Any similarity to any real events, names, or life events is purely accidental. If you are a underage, (according to your state laws as a minor), if this literature is offensive to you or to anyone around your viewing area, or it is illegal for you to view such content where you are reading it, stop reading the story.

This story can't be distributed in any way, shape or form without the author's expressed written consent. I will like to give a shout out to a reader that has helped me with ideas where the story is, thank you!}

Story Written by: J.P.G.

Edited By: "Daddy" Rick

I have a home page for you to see what the characters look like or what the places look like. If you want to walk in their shoes, please go to: http://jacobmillertex.com/ Story Written by: J.P.G.

Chapter 28

As Joey was walking in to the hotel, he noticed several of the kids walking toward the restaurant. He wondered what was going on, but he was too tired to check, until he walked past the doors and heard a lot of noise coming from the room. Stopping in his tracks, causing Caleb to run into him, he turned and walked back to the doors and looked in to find that everyone that was staying in the hotel sitting there talking among themselves.

Joey looked back at Caleb, but Caleb was as confused as he was with why everyone was there. Not for sure what was going on, they walked in to try and find out. Just as they made their way to the guys that came with them from Alamogordo, Harold and Helen walked in. Immediately everyone got quiet and sat down in the nearest seat.

The only ones that didn't sit down were Joey and Caleb. They walked over to Harold to find out what was going on. Not needing to be prompted to explain what was happening. Harold immediately gave Joey and Caleb the short version of why he called the meeting. When he was done, neither of the boys had a problem with it. They turned and sat down.

"Thank you all for coming, I know it is late, but I feel I needed to call this meeting here tonight since our hotel is getting pretty full. The only group that is not here is those that live in Jacob's house. There is no need for them to be here since they are just guests where as all of you are living here permanently. This is your home at least until you are old enough to move out on your own. In others cases..." Harold looked at the table where Bobby and Bill were sitting at. "You guys won't leave here until, well you know, there is no need to let everyone know your business."

Bill and Bobby could feel every eye in the room looking at them. They looked back at those that were looking at them and mad dogged them. Several of them turned away, and those that didn't, Bill and Bobby made mental note of who they are. Neither of the two didn't break eye contact with those who in their minds grew balls over night. What seemed like eternity those that didn't turn away from Bobby and Bill tried to show they weren't afraid, which was only a minute or so. However they lost the battle because they flinched first and turned their attention back to Judge Evans, not looking at Bobby and Bill again.

"In this room there are all walks of life and soon there is going to be a lot more people here. I will go into more detail of that later. For now let me address those that are here! On one side of the room we have young kids that have been kicked out of their homes because of who they love; disowned and asked to never darken their family home again. To make matters worse, the majority of you were in that horrible camp. How you guys made it out with your heads screwed on. I will never know, but thankfully you did.

On the other side of the room we have the first two young kids that have been given a second chance to make something out of their lives, instead making trouble. In their own way they have lived through their own horror like you kids that were stuck in that camp. Don't take it that I'm comparing what you went through to be equal to what these two have gone through. I'm not doing that. All I'm trying to say is that each of you in one way or another has come to this hotel with history, which I hope eventually you will all share with each other so you can learn from one another and hopefully when you leave here you will be friends.

Soon there is going to be a lot more young adults on the probation floor, as well as the other floors. Starting Wednesday we are going to be getting a lot more teenagers that have been kicked out of their homes because of their sexual orientation. At the same time, I will be sentencing more kids to the probation floor, but once that floor is filled, we won't open another floor to let more probationers in.

Hopefully by the end of the year, this hotel will be filled to capacity. By then Jacob and his crew will be back in their house as well. So that is why I'm calling this meeting here tonight, to go over what is expected of each and every one of you. Most of it is getting done, but some of it isn't. The things that aren't getting done are making it hard for others to live here."

Everyone looked at each other wondering what Harold was talking about. Ever since they have moved in here, they have done everything they have been told to do, and then some. Well that is until the last couple of days. Due to everything that happened over the weekend, everything has been turned upside down and they are just waiting for things to get back to normal.

"First, your mother doesn't live here. You are responsible for your own rooms and your own laundry. Every floor has its own laundry room. Use the machines! If you don't know how, find someone on Joey's staff to show you. I'm sure they would be more than happy to help you out so everyone on your floor doesn't have to smell the dirty laundry or hear the complaints that it stinks up there. I promise you, if I go up there and find what I am being told is the truth some of you will see a side of me that those that appear in front of me in my courtroom see."

Gary stood up. "Come on guys you all know how to turn on a laundry machine and dryer, so there is no excuse for what we are seeing up there in your rooms." The guys gave Gary a look that could only be taken one way. He was out of his mind. "I won't embarrass any of you because you know who we are speaking about. Some of the rooms up there when you walk into them you would think there is a dead body under the piles of dirty laundry. Some of the rooms have clothes hanging from the top of the doors or even the light fixture on the ceiling. Come on now, there is no maid service here. You have to clean up after yourselves!"

Janet stood up and pretty much reinforced what Gary had just said. "I know you guys are feeling that we are using this as a bitch session, but we have spoken with each of you, and nothing has changed. Things have to change and have to change immediately. This is a very nice hotel, and with your help, we can keep it that way for other teens that need a nice place to stay when you leave here to go out on your own. Your room needs to be in the same condition you got it when you arrived." Janet looked at those that she was talking about as she sat back down.

"If any of the machines aren't working or if you don't have the supplies you need to do your laundry or clean your room, let Gary or Janet know. They will let Helen or Joey know and they will go out and get what you need or get the broken machines fixed. If you guys don't speak up, we won't know what is happening on your floor." None of the kids said a word. They just sat there staring at the clock on the wall.

"Okay enough with that, the point has been made so let's move on." Harold looked down at his clip board. "This item was made clear to those that were put on the probation floor, but not told to the rest of you. Those on the probation floor aren't allowed to communicate with anyone in this hotel that is not on their floor. Those that are on the probation floor can't be anywhere else in this hotel except their floor and certain areas of this floor. They know what will happen if they are caught where they aren't supposed to be. So please, if you become friends with these guys at school, that friendship can't come into this hotel. I know there is no reason why I have to explain why that rule is in effect."

Harold looked around the room and all he saw was blank faces. "Also they have their own entrance, their own..." Harold went into detail of how the kids on the probation floor are going to be getting around the hotel. As Harold told the others everything, they couldn't believe the rules that have to be followed by those on that floor.

"I can't make this as clearer than I already have. Those on the probation floor can't be on any other floor. Not only is it part of their agreement with the court, but for the protection of everyone here in the hotel. There are several issues, but those issues have been discussed with those involved. There is no need to broadcast it out to the entire world."

Those that knew what happened between Aaron and Bill looked at them. They looked at Aaron first, and then over to Bill, and back to Aaron. Those two felt several eyes on them and at one point Bill looked over at those that were looking at him, and they turned away quickly. However that didn't stop them from looking back at him or Aaron when they turned their attention back to what was being said by Harold.

"Now let's talk about jobs, gentlemen. None of you guys have to worry about room and board because the state is paying that for you. However, I know you guys want to have some spending money in your pockets. If that is the case, we can help you with that." Harold pointed to Helen and Joey. "To give you more information on what I'm talking about, I'm going to hand the floor over to Joey here. He has a lot of good ideas, which I know you guys will jump at."

Harold turned and sat next to his wife, while Joey got up. He looked around the room and saw this topic had everyone's interest. "As Judge Evans said we have several things you guys can do to earn money. But before I go into this in any more detail, let me make clear that it's not required. It is up to you if you want to earn money to buy you things that you want beyond the items we buy like your clothes and personal hygiene items."

Harold jumped up and stopped Joey from going further. "Joey is right, those that aren't on the probation floor aren't required to get a job. However, those that are on the probation floor are, and need to get into a job within the allotted time. If you don't, well you know what will happen. That is another item I don't want to broadcast here because it is no one else's business except your own and of course the courts." Harold looked back at Joey and nodded as he sat back down.

"Everything I'm talking about here is for those on all floors except for those on the probation floor. You guys have to do certain things that were agreed upon to get you here, and no one here at this hotel can and will override what you agreed to. So don't try and play the hotel against the courts because it won't work. You do what you are supposed to do according to what you signed on to when you were released to the program you are in."

Bobby and Bill nodded their heads, hoping Joey will move on. "Enough said on that issue, let's move on." Joey looked at the other boys. "You will be given a choice of places to work if you decide that is what you want to do. If you are sixteen years or older, you will be allowed to work here in the hotel or outside of the hotel in several locations. If you are under the age of sixteen, by law, we can't let you work because you are too young. Helen and I will sit with those that are under the age of sixteen and see what we can do to get you a little money, but it won't be anywhere near what those that that choose to work will be getting."

The younger kids in the group slumped down in their seats. They thought they would be able to earn money like the others, but their bubbles were busted. They understand why they can't work, but at the same time they felt it was unfair.

"Okay now to the jobs that you guys can go for if you want to earn spending money." Joey handed out a pamphlet to everyone. "In the pamphlet I just handed you is a list of places where you can find jobs. At the very top of the list is the name of a restaurant. That restaurant is this one you are sitting in right now. In exactly a week, we are going to open this place to the public. We want you guys to work here so we don't have to hire from the outside. But I know some of you may not like working at a restaurant and that is why we there are other places on the list for you to choose from.

Most of the places are companies that are owned by Jacob, who owns the Angel Corporation. He has told his people that if any of you come in to put in an application, you will get first dibs at any job that is open. It may sound unfair to others that are seeking a job and don't live here, but Jacob feels there are plenty of job openings in his company that he can offer this.

Also I'm very close on closing a deal on buying out all the Albertson's here in El Paso. Mr. Serna, Jacob's grandfather is helping me on that. If nothing changes, by the middle of this month I should be taking over the ownership of the stores. So that will give you another place to go and put in applications if you chose to.

The room was very quiet. The guys first just stared at Joey, and then at each other, but not one of them raised their hands and asked any questions. Since there was not much more to talk about, and no one asked questions, the rest of the meeting only took another fifteen minutes. When Harold excused everyone, they walked out of the restaurant in silence, but that didn't last long.

When they reached the elevators, they started talking amongst themselves about how cool it would be to earn their own spending money. One by one they threw out where they would like to work, the majority of them either choosing the restaurant or the grocery stores that Joey is about to own. Either way, they were all happy that they will have a chance to work.

Bill and Bobby walked up to the group as they were waiting for the elevator and pulled on the shoulders of the few that didn't turn their attention away from them early on in the meeting. When the guys that Bill and Bobby grabbed saw who was tugging on their shoulder, they started to freak out. They started to tremble from head to toe, exactly what Bobby and Bill wanted.

"You little shits think that we aren't going to do anything to your guys if you challenge us? Think again. If you look at us in any way, shape or form like you did earlier, your asses are ours, is that understood?" The guys that Bobby and Bill were talking to nodded their heads. "We want to do our time here and get out, but we won't have our balls cut off."

Everyone heard the stories about Bobby and when he said that, everyone cracked a smile, making Bobby even angrier than he already was. Just as he raised his fist, Bill tapped him on the shoulder to warn him that someone was coming. He let go of the guy he had in his grasp and turned around to walk away.

When Bobby heard the bell of the elevator ring, he stopped in his tracks and waited for a few seconds before walking back towards the elevators. As he walked up to the elevator the boys were on, it was about to close, but he stuck his hand in, scaring the boys inside. When the door opened, Bobby looked at the guys and knew they were afraid of him.

With an evil grin across his face, Bobby removed his hand from the elevator, allowing the door to shut, not once breaking eye contact with the guys in there. Once it was closed, he turned and started laughing as he met back up with Bill who was standing in the hallway. Bill tried to talk some sense into him about what he did and how much trouble they could be in if the judge found out, but Bobby wouldn't listen. He kept saying over and over again that he was just playing with the guys. However, Bill could see in his eyes and the tone of his voice he wasn't playing with the guys. He really wanted to scare them like he did.

While they were heading up to get ready for bed, Joey's night was just beginning. He headed to his private office in the hotel and dialed Al's number. A couple rings later, Al was on the line and they got through their normal greetings before getting down to business.

"Joey I know why you are calling me and I have the same answer that I had for you the night before; things are in the works. Just be patient and by no later than the middle of this month you will be the proud owner of all the Albertsons in El Paso." Al chuckled. "I know that is easier said than done, but you need to relax and let the lawyers do their job. That is what they are paid for."

"I know I keep asking, but my stomach is all in knots right now. Are you sure there is nothing standing in the way of completing this deal? You know, like the current owners coming back asking for more money. Or worse, they have second thoughts about the sale and decide not to sell at all."

"Joey, Joey! Don't worry about things that aren't going to happen. A price has been agreed upon. The current owners can't come back and ask for more. That part of the deal, the part of negotiating is over. Both sides have agreed upon a price and now the only thing that is being worked out is the date you will receive ownership of the company.

They want it as soon as possible because they want you to pay for all the cost of running those stores when you actually didn't own them. Keep in mind that the payroll is two weeks behind and most bills are set on monthly due dates and are normally are due at the middle of the month. The old owners must pay for everything that is old up to the date you take over and that is what the company attorneys are making sure will happen."

"I understand all that, really I do. It's just that it seems the company attorneys have had this purchase for a while now and I are taking their sweet time. I know they aren't, but when Jacob bought the McDonalds, it didn't take this long, at least that is what I can remember." Joey nervously waited for Al's response.

"Trust me the deal with the McDonalds didn't happen overnight. In fact if my memory serves me right, we went back to the table several times before the final deal was signed. They tried to come back and ask for more for each store. Jacob and I stood our ground and said no. At the end of the day, they realized we were the best people to own the McDonalds here in El Paso, so they went back to their original deal. Now I know you know that is not happening here with your deal. Not once have the current owners of the Albertson's have changed their asking price."

Joey had no idea Jacob and his grandfather went through all that when they were buying the McDonalds, but learning this wasn't a surprise to Joey. When he and Jacob were together, Jacob kept him out of all that. It wasn't that Jacob didn't want Joey to know the business, it was because Jacob didn't want Joey to know the dirty part of the business, which he is learning now.

"I never knew that you and Jacob had to go back to the table several times when you guys were buying the McDonalds. One night Jacob came home and told me that you guys were going to buy these restaurants and the next thing I knew you guys owned them. Everything that happened in between the time you guys first made the offer and signed the paperwork, Jacob never talked about, at least not to me."

"Well don't take it to the heart Joey. You know my grandson as I do. He doesn't want you to worry about things. He wanted you to enjoy the fruits of everything, not have to worry about how the money was being made. It might not have been right, but my grandson had his heart in the right place. Talking about my grandson, how is he doing?"

"To use your words Al, you know Jacob as well as I do, he doesn't let anyone in on how he is feeling. All I know is what I can see, which I know by the look on his face that he is in a lot of pain. But I also know Dewayne isn't me. What I mean by that is that he won't let Jacob get away with saying nothing is wrong. He makes Jacob tell him what is going on so he can help him if he can."

"You're right about Dewayne. The guy didn't let my daughter push him around when he first met Jacob's mother. He stood his ground with her, which I think that is one of the reasons my daughter finally realized that she has to accept Jacob for who he is. Dewayne is a guy that won't let Jacob get away with saying something that he knows isn't true.

With that said, I'm still angry that my grandson didn't tell me that he was hurt. He said he was okay, but kept me in the dark that he was burned. I had to learn about that by watching the news. Do you know how that made me feel Joey?" Joey didn't respond to the question right away because he had no idea what to say at first.

"To tell you the truth sir, I really don't, but Jacob is like that. I think the reason he didn't tell you that he was hurt was because he didn't want you to worry, and maybe get sick. He also doesn't want you to jump on the next plane home. A day doesn't go by that he doesn't talk about the work you are doing up there with someone in the hotel. Some of the guys here try and dodge Jacob because they know if he catches them, he will talk their ear off about you. He is really proud of you sir, and he doesn't want to pull you away from doing your job."

Al didn't expect that answer from Joey, Jacob yes, but not Joey. The more and more he talks to the young man, the more he is seeing how much Joey has grown up in the last several months. He can also see some of his grandson in Joey, which doesn't surprise him because of the amount of time they were going out together. Some of each of them should have rubbed off on the other.

"Joey I wish I could sit and talk with you some more, but I need to get back into the meeting that I was in when you called. So let me leave you with this, nothing has changed on your deal. As of the middle of the month you will own all the Albertson's in El Paso. Get ready to be busy, because once you take over your stores, you won't know if you are coming or going."

Joey loved hearing that and thanked Al for everything he has done for him. After talking with Al for a few more minutes and then hanging up with him, Joey didn't move. He sat there thinking about the stores he is about to own. He couldn't believe that he is actually doing this. It is going to be the first big thing he is going to own without Jacob, and that is making him feel even better.

The next morning things were a lot different during breakfast since some of the guys weren't there. The few conversations that were going on were general, nothing big. Whenever the conversations started going the directions of what happened over the weekend, the conversation was shut down and the room went dead quiet for awhile.

On the way to school, the mood in the truck was the same like it was during breakfast. There was no deep conversations going on, and when they passed Thomas' house and didn't stop to pick him up, things got really quiet. Driving by Thomas' house made everyone think about Thomas and what had happened to him and the other guys over the weekend.

Even after picking up the other guys, the mood in the truck didn't change that much. The mood in the group actually didn't lighten up until they got to school and were sitting in the cafeteria talking about the subject they were avoiding. They didn't get near the accident part, but they all were recounting the events before the accident. As they went through those moments, it put a smile on each of their faces at times and at other times they laughed.

In middle of all the fun, Joey excused himself and left, which surprised everyone. They were all used to Jacob getting up in the middle of their second breakfast, but not Joey. When asked where he was going, Joey said one word, `ROTC'. When Joey gave his answer, the guys didn't try and talk him into staying. They let him go and went back to their conversation.

Joey felt that since he was the XO, he needed to cover for Jacob while he was out. He didn't want the battalion to be a mess when he returned back to school. He also didn't want any of the lower ranking officers on battalion staff to try and take over Jacob's spot either. Some of them don't like the idea a junior is in charge of the battalion when they are all seniors.

When he walked into the ROTC building, the battalion staff members that were there were surprised to see Joey walking in. They were more surprised when Joey walked up to them and asked them what they were discussing. When they didn't give Joey an answer that he liked, he ordered them to rejoin whatever team they were part of and not to hold secret meetings again. They weren't happy being ordered around by Joey, but they didn't disobey him. They reluctantly went their different directions, some to the shooting range and others outside to join up with their drill team.

Once Joey was sure they did what they were ordered to do, he headed to the outer office to see what Jacob had on his schedule for the day. Just as he walked in, Colonel Pigeon walked out of his office and waved him over. Joey put his backpack down next to the desk and followed Colonel Pigeon into the inner office. He found that Colonel May was sitting there.

Back in the cafeteria, the conversation at the table made its way to the meeting that was held the night before. None of the guys understood why the judge had called the meeting in the first place. On top of that, it felt like to them it was a bitching session, which they felt they hadn't done anything that warranted that. At least not a group meeting like it was.

"I just don't understand why that meeting was even called." Ray leaned in with a look of anger and confusion on his face. "I know what we have at the hotel is good, but there was no need to call the meeting and degrade us in a group. Not all of us have clothes lying around, rooms dirty, and those that do, isn't as bad as Gary made it out to be."

"Yeah I agree, and what is this short notice crap?" Deejay interrupted. "Most of us were about to watch a movie, and then we were told to go to the restaurant for a meeting. If they were going to have a meeting like this, they should have given as more advance notice, not a few minutes right before the damn thing; come on now!"

Everyone that was there nodded their heads except Shane. "I may not agree with how things were done in the meeting or how it was called, but we shouldn't be griping about here. After all Joey and the judge are giving us a place to stay and food in our stomachs. If it wasn't for them, where would any of us be?" Ray looked around the table and saw blank faces looking back at him. "As for me I know I would be living on the streets somewhere, begging for money. I'm pretty sure most of you would probably be in the same spot since none of your parents wanted you back just like mine. So I say we should stop bitching about what happened and move on."

"We aren't bitching Shane, are we guys?" Ray looked around at the others and got them to all shake their heads. "All we are saying here is that there was no need to have that kind of meeting. If Gary or Janet has a problem with one or two of us, they should have pulled that person to the side and say, hey clean your room and do your laundry, not embarrass the whole group in the way they did yesterday."

"Yeah come on we aren't all dirty, or at least not in the way they put it. My room isn't clean to the point you eat off the floor, but it's not as dirty as they made it out to be either. The reason I have clothes hanging off the ceiling is because I put them there. They aren't dirty, it's just my way of making my room my own."

Everyone started to brush their hands across their face as if there was a stink coming from Deejay. "Come on guys, I don't stink and you know it. All of you have hung out with me in my room, and it doesn't stink either. It's just a little messy, but that is the way I like it. I had my room like that when I lived at home, and there wasn't a problem with it."

"The reason there wasn't a problem with it is because you parents didn't care what you did, just like the rest of our parents." Edmund cracked up laughing. "You guys in my mind I liked it when they call us in for that meeting. For the first time since I can remember there is someone that finally cares what I do and how I do it. These guys care enough to tell us what we are doing wrong and if we don't correct it, we will have consequences."

Everyone saw the logic in what Edmund was saying. They were all so used to not being told what to do because their parents didn't want to deal with them. It wasn't that their parents were too busy. No it was because their parents ignored them, in return it gave them the green light to do whatever they wanted to do. Now they are starting to see how wrong that was. They'd all rather have this strictness because it shows them someone cares. The way they had it before, they had all the freedom in the world, but had no one that cared about them.

"You know Edmund you're right." Ray looked around the table. "Guys, we should stop bitching about what happened last night and just do what they are asking. It isn't much, just keep our rooms clean, do our laundry and keep away from the detention floor and those that are on it. That isn't a lot to ask for, is it guys?" This time instead of shaking their heads, the guys answered yes.

"Changing the subject a little, how cool was it that Joey and the judge put together places for us to go and get jobs?" The guys all at once started to talk, not letting Edmund continue. "Come on guys, let's not all talk at once because no one is being heard." The conversation started to die down. "I don't know where I'm going to go and put an application, but I'm telling you I am. Heck it will be cool to have my own money for once to do whatever I want to do with it. There are so many things I want to buy, but can't because I don't have the money."

Once again the table broke out into several conversations. Edmund gave in and just listened to what everyone was saying. They were all talking about where they wanted to work, which he liked some of the ideas. By the time they started to make their way outside, they all had pretty much narrowed down where they wanted to work to two or three places.

While they continued their conversation on their way to the stadium, Joey was getting news that he wasn't expecting to hear. It wasn't a surprise to him, but he didn't expect the decision to be made as quickly as it did. As sat there listening, all he could think about is how things could have been different if he would have stayed in Alamogordo.

"Joey, Colonel May came down to speak with me about having to battalion commanders. As you know we can't and won't take away the rank you have earned. However, Jacob is this school's battalion commander and will stay in the position as long as he is enrolled in the program. Things might change next year, but for now, things were stay as is."

"Colonel Pigeon we have covered what is going to happen next year and there is nothing going to change that. Even if Jacob wins the student council presidency, he will come in next year as this battalion's commander as he is right now." Joey wanted to strangle Colonel May, but kept his feelings in check. "Jacob hasn't done anything that warrants us to take him from that position this year or next year."

Colonel Pigeon looked at Joey and asked him to step out of the office for a minute. As soon as Joey walked out, Colonel Pigeon closed the door and went at with Colonel May. "This is my battalion and I will do what I feel is best for it. If Jacob isn't the right fit for this battalion, I will put someone else in the position of battalion commander next year."

"It is your battalion, but it is part of my brigade. All officer promotions I sign off on and their placements. If you come to me with another person for battalion commander next year, I don't care who it is, I will deny all officer promotions. Without having officers in place, you will flunk my inspections and you will flunk the HUWD inspection as well. If you flunk these three inspections next year, you won't be able to compete in any competition the following year, is that what you want for your cadets?" Colonel Pigeon didn't like being threatened the way he was being threatened by May.

"I don't know what is wrong with you and my good friend Major Moore. You loved Jacob when you weren't running this battalion, but the minute you took over, you got a bug up your ass about him. What is it about commanding him that gets the SAI against him?"

"Sir with all due respect, Jacob is a great leader and he has done great things for this battalion and the brigade. He will be a great leader in his business, but he will never be able to serve in the military because he's a homosexual. I don't want to waste the position of battalion commander on a cadet that can't use it for SROTC or a military college. Jacob can't serve in the military and those programs won't accept him because of that reason alone."

Colonel Pigeon sat down in his seat. "I love the kid Colonel May. He bends over backwards to do so damn much for this program. Every time I see Jacob walk into this building, his face lightens up. The guy loves this program and what he is doing so much. I can't stand thinking that we are losing a great leader because of our laws. I really wish all my cadets were just like him, because if they were, this battalion, no, this brigade would be the best one out there."

"I feel the same way about Jacob. Every time I come down here, I can't wait to sit with the young man and pick his mind on what he would like to do to make our brigade a lot better. Just look around and you will see Jacob everywhere. No other cadet in past has ever done as much as Jacob has done, and I don't think no cadet in the future will ever be able to fill his shoes." Colonel May saw the weird look on Colonel Pigeon's face. "Not the money part, I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about all the changes he has put in that has made us a lot better.

The kid deserves the position he has right now and he should and will get it back next year. It won't be a waste in him because we will benefit from his leadership. Let those other programs lose out by not accepting him because of his personal life, but we won't. Jacob deserves better and we will give him what he deserves, agreed?"

"Yes sir I agree one hundred percent. I need to stop thinking about the other programs out there and only think about the one I'm in charge of." Colonel May yelled out `EXACTLY". "But that doesn't solve our problem having two battalion commanders here at this school for the next two years. How do you think we should handle that problem?"

"Call in Joey and I will tell both you at the same time." Colonel Pigeon got up and walked over to the door, opened it and waved Joey back into the office. "Sorry about the confusion earlier, Colonel Pigeon and I are on the same page now as far as what is going to happen the rest of this year and next year when it comes to you and Jacob."

Joey nodded with a big smile on his face as he sat back down. "As I was saying, Jacob will remain as this battalion commander, and you will be the XO, the second in charge. Next year that won't change. Jacob and you will have the same positions that you have right now. However, I'm going to make an exception to my own rules as far as how many cadets that are allowed to be sent to brigade board for brigade positions.

As you know, each school is only allowed to send their battalion commander and sergeant major to brigade board to try and get one of the four brigade slots. As of right now, there are eight schools in the brigade, which means eight battalion commanders are competing against each other for the three full bird colonel positions. Also there are eight sergeant majors competing against each other for the one command sergeant major slot on brigade staff.

Since there are two battalion commanders here at this school, I'm going to allow Colonel Pigeon to send both of you to the brigade promotion board. Both you and Jacob will be treated equally and whoever answers the most questions and does the best drill will get a position on brigade staff. Who knows, you or Jacob might not beat out the other seven battalion commanders going for the three open slots on brigade board, or you two might actually get two of three. You might even beat Jacob out and become brigade commander and he is brigade XO. Anything can happen, but we won't know until everything has been done and said."

"I will work with both you and Jacob on getting ready for the brigade promotion board. By the time it rolls around, you guys will be ready for it." Colonel Pigeon jumped in. "I want to have my two colonels on brigade board so I can have the bragging rights that I was able to get two of my cadets on the board at the same time."

Colonel Pigeon laughed, causing Joey and Colonel May to laugh. "Joey, I know this might not seem right to you, but you have to understand we are doing the best that we can in this situation. Never before have we been faced with having two battalion commanders in one school."

"I understand sir and I wouldn't have it any other way." Joey spoke for the first time. "It wouldn't be fair that I come in and demand Jacob's position this year or next year. He has been in it a lot longer than I have and he earned it, just like me. So the way you have it set up, I can live with it. Even more so after hearing that I can go in front of the brigade promotion board alongside Jacob. Plus I know Jacob won't have a problem with this decision either."

Colonel May looked at Colonel Pigeon and felt good on how this unfolded. He looked back at Joey and asked about Jacob. It didn't surprise Joey that he was being asked how Jacob was, because that is all he has been asked ever since the accident by the people they both know.

"He is back home and is recovering but not listening to the doctors as usual. The guy thinks he is superman or something because he thinks he can walk on do things like he has always done before he got hurt. I thought that we were going to have to tie him down to a chair this morning so he didn't come to school, but Dewayne kept him up in their room."

"When I saw the news and saw Jacob walking through that fire, I thought he was superman or something pretty close." Colonel Pigeon chuckled. "It has to be weird for the both of you living in the same building with your new partners. When you were attending Austin, you guys were very close, and now you both have different guys at your side. That has to be weird."

"At first it was, but we did have time to adjust before Jacob and all those that live in his house moved into the hotel after Jacob's house fire. He and the guys came up after I was taken out of that camp to visit with me. That visit was the most uncomfortable one of them all since that was the first time he and I met the guy that replaced each other."

Colonel Pigeon couldn't imagine how these two were able to put their past aside the way they did. If he was in their shoes and he had broken up with his wife, there was no way he could live in the same house or hotel with her and a new husband. Maybe go out to dinner with them, something like an hour, but not like Jacob and Joey. How they are doing it, he can't imagine.

"All I can say is you two are more grown up than many grownups. Our hats are off to both of you. I hope things do work out for both of you with your new partners and nothing but the best comes to you guys. Enough with all this bad crap, it's time for you guys to start having some good luck in your lives, don't you think?"

Joey couldn't say it better than how Colonel Pigeon put it. It seems that for the last couple of years, the only luck he and Jacob have had has been bad luck. It is high time that changes and they start to at least have nothing happen in their lives for awhile. He hopes good luck comes their way, but would be happy with things settling down and they are able to breathe.

"Well I think we settled the major concern that has been on our desk Colonel Pigeon ever since Joey came back to us." Colonel May got up and walked over to Colonel Pigeon, shook his hand and then walked over to Joey. "Son it is good to have you back in our battalion. I hope to see you on the rifle team again very soon because you were an excellent shooter."

Joey stood up to shake Colonel May's hand. "You let Jacob know that he is in mine and my wife's prayers. Hope he gets better real soon and gets back here to school because we need him. In the meantime, running the battalion falls to you and I know it's in good hands." Colonel May looked over to Pigeon. "Walk with me to my car. There are a couple of items not involving this subject I need to discuss with you."

Not needing to be told, Joey took that as his cue that he was no longer needed. He thanked the two colonels once again as he headed out of the office. When he got to the outer office, he checked his and Jacob's in-boxes. As he was going through the items in both in boxes, Colonel May and Pigeon walked past him, not saying a word to each other.

"Colonel Pigeon have you heard anything from Jacob if he is going to continue to sponsor our programs next year?" Colonel Pigeon answered no as he put on his hat. "I like that he is running for student council president. If he gets it, he will be the first ROTC cadet to get that position in any of our schools. However, it kind of worries me as well. If gets that position, he might forget about us and take the money he is using to sponsor us to sponsor the programs he wants to get started in the other clubs."

"Knowing Jacob the way we both do, you know he won't do that. He is a man of his word and he already told us that he is going to continue sponsoring our programs as long as he can. I believe he will never go back on his word."

"You're right, you're right, and I should ever doubt his word. It's just with everything that has happened to him lately you can't blame me for thinking the way I am right now." Colonel May unlocked the door to his car and got in. "Forget that I ever asked and once you know something about his attentions let me know right away."

Colonel Pigeon agreed as he closed the door for Colonel May. They talked about one other item concerning Colonel Pigeon's battalion before May drove off. As Pigeon walked back towards the building, he saw his drill teams practicing in the lower parking lot and decided to go and check on their progress. The last time he saw them drill, he wasn't too happy with all the dropped weapons. If that would happen in competition, they would be lucky to even place.

Meanwhile at the hospital, Thomas' parents had just arrived. They walked in to their son's room and turned right back around as soon as they saw him lying there in the bed. They couldn't stand seeing their son the way he is, all bruised and cut up. Ever since they got the call, they went through every emotion that a human can go through within the first few minutes of receiving the news.

Mr. and Mrs. Juarez stood outside their son's room until they caught their breath before heading back in. Mr. Juarez closed the door behind him before rejoining his wife at their son's side. They looked at him as he slept, barely able to recognize their son under all the bruises and swelling.

"I can't stand seeing him like this. He was supposed to just go out and have fun car shopping with his friends, not end up almost being killed." Mrs. Juarez whispered to her husband so she didn't wake her son up. "Someone has to pay for what has happened to my son. I don't care who it is, but someone has to pay for what has happened here."

"Honey you are letting your emotions get the best of you." Mr. Juarez tried to talk his wife down, but the more he tried, the angrier she got. "Come on honey, don't do this to yourself. It doesn't do you or Thomas any good. He needs us here with our heads screwed on right. Not out there trying to make someone pay for what was an accident." Mrs. Juarez shot her husband a dirty look. "Who do you want to have arrested? The one that caused this accident is dead, so who do you think should be arrested and stand trial for the accident our son was in?"

Mrs. Juarez pulled her hand away from her husband. "Don't you talk to me like I'm a little girl. I know damn well the guy that caused all this is dead, but there has to be someone we can make pay for this." Mrs. Juarez walked over to the window, ignoring her husband. She was lost in her own thoughts, and when she found her way out of them, she surprised Mr. Juarez.

"Since we can't have the guy that caused this accident arrested, nor can we have Joey and the others that were in the others vehicles arrested, I say we sue Joey. Make him feel some of the pain we are feeling right now and the only way I can think that can happen is by suing Joey. Maybe then those boys in that hotel will think again about thinking they are better than us."

"I can't believe those words are actually coming out of your mouth. I know you met the same kid that I met." Mr. Juarez walked over to his wife and making her face him. "I know you met the same Joey and his friends that I met. None of them thinks they are better than us. In fact, they have gone out of their way to show us that they aren't. So get those thoughts out of your mind."

"No, damn it, someone has to pay for this!" Mrs. Juarez pointed to her son. "Someone is going to pay for what happened to my son. I don't care who in the hell it is, but someone is going to. The only one that comes to mind that we can go after is Joey. So he is the one I'm going to set my sites on to make pay for all this."

"Mom why are you angry with Joey for what happened to me?" Thomas parents had no idea that their son had woken up. "Joey was not the one that was driving that truck. He wasn't even the one driving the truck I was in, that was Tom. So why do you want to sue my friend for something that's not his fault?"

"Son you are too young to understand all this." Mrs. Juarez walked over to Thomas and felt his forehead to see if he was running a temperature. "Everyone else that was involved in the accident has gotten something so far. We heard when we got here today that money was raised for Tom, and that gangster kid got a visit from the Mayor and chief of police, but you haven't gotten a thing. You were in that accident and got hurt, so you deserve something as well.

We don't know what your future is going to be now that this happened to you. The doctor said you are going to heal and be back to your normal self, but I don't believe that doctor since he was brought in by Joey's friend. He will say whatever that other rich kid asks him to say so we don't sue them. He is going to find out how wrong he was assuming that when we do."

"Mom I'm going to be out of this hospital by the end of the week, and back to school by next week. By the time football season starts, I should be back to my old self, which means nothing has changed. So please stop thinking the way you are thinking and leave Joey and Jacob alone. Those two guys didn't do anything except be nice to me."

"Son you just can't see it, but I can. What happens if you don't heal right and when you get back on the field and realize it then? It will be too late for us to sue Joey or anyone for that matter since we waited too long. And if we can't sue and get you money, how are you going to go to college without a football scholarship. Forget that for now, how will you be able to get any real job with injuries that will keep you from doing the tasks of a job that pays good."

Thomas looked at his dad for help. He wasn't getting anywhere with his mother and knew that no more what he told her, he wasn't going to be able to change her mind. So all he could hope for is that his dad will be able to change her mind, or at least hold off on doing something.

"Honey we need to let Thomas rest. This discussion about suing someone is doing him more harm than good. So drop the subject and let's let him get some rest." Mr. Juarez gently pulled at his wife to get her off the bed. "You and I will continue talking about this some more outside out of the ear shot of Thomas and anyone else that might hear what we are talking about."

Hesitantly Mrs. Juarez agreed with her husband and followed him out of the room. As Mr. Juarez turned to shut his son's door, his son mouthed thank you, putting a smile on Mr. Juarez's face. He winked at his son and mouthed your welcome just as he shut the door completely.

All the way down to the first floor, neither of Thomas parents said a word. They just stared straight ahead gathering their thoughts for their side of the argument they knew they were about to have. Once the door opened, they walked off and out of the hospital as if they were on a very important mission. Those that would have seen them would have thought that by the way they were walking, the building was on fire.

When they got to their car, they got in, but Mr. Juarez didn't start it. "Anjelica I don't know what is wrong with you this morning, but whatever it is, you'd better fix it. You were doing more harm to our son up there than good by talking about suing his friends. Didn't you see his eyes while you were talking to you? Through all the bruises, I was able to see him pleading with you."

"The only thing I see wrong with me is that I'm the only one looking to the future and looking at the what ifs. What if our son never gets back to the way he was before the accident? You know as well as I do that can happen since the doctor that is working on him, that Dr. Whitmore was hired by Joey's rich friend. He will say or do whatever the person that is footing the bill asks him to say. So there is no way we can believe a word that comes out of his mouth.

What if our son does walk out of this hospital like normal, but later we find out he isn't? I can promise you that Joey or his rich friends won't give a rat's ass about him. They will move away from Thomas before we can say where Joey is and don't tell me this hasn't crossed your mind." Anjelica looked at her husband for an answer, but didn't get one.

"What if our son gets out there on that field and finds out that he can't play the game that both of you have been hoping he will get a scholarship from? I'll tell you what will happen. He will be stuck in our house for the rest of his life beating himself up for not listening to me here. We need to get him some fall back money in case these what ifs come true or other ones I'm thinking of."

"I won't disagree with you that we don't know what the future holds for our son, but we never have known that. We always knew that he might get hurt on the field and we would have to find a way to pay for his college. That is why we have tucked away that little bit of savings in case that day comes. If it never does, we plan on taking the money and treating ourselves to a cruise.

So again I understand where you are coming from, but I don't agree with your solution to the problem. Let's just go back up there to our son and be with him. Stop this talk about suing his friend for every penny he is worth. Let's just be there for our son at his time of need. That is what he needs the most from us right now, not planning his future."

"You just don't understand a thing do you Daunte? Our son needs more from us than just sitting at his side, holding his hand. He needs us to make sure he is well taken care of in the future, and the only way I can see that happening is by suing either Joey or his other rich friend, or maybe both of them. I don't care, but one, if not both of them, will be getting sued."

Anjelica got out of the car before Daunte could respond to what she had just said. When he got out, he chased after her, but she kept pushing him away. She didn't want to discuss the matter anymore with him since he was refusing to see it her way. Her mind is made up, and by the end of the week, she will have an attorney filing the lawsuit against Joey and Jacob.

Meanwhile Joey had a weird feeling in his gut that something was going on, what, he couldn't put his finger on it, but he knew something was happening. His day didn't drag on, it went by fast. Most of it he spent at the ROTC building doing Jacob's job, which he couldn't believe how much work Jacob did throughout the day for the battalion.

When the school day was coming to an end, the ugly feeling Joey had since early in the morning was still there. However now the feelings are even stronger than they were in the morning, which he thought it was odd. He had kept an eye out on his friends to see if something was going on there, but he found nothing. Then he thought something was up at the hotel, but after calling Helen and speaking with her during lunch, that worry was put to rest.

Even after his talk with his sister, the feeling didn't go away. He thought that Fran was going to take the news of Harold and Helen staying as her adopted parents was going to make her angry with him, but she surprised him. At first she looked like she was disappointed, but when he told her that she could still date Allen, her facial expression changed.

Finding out that she didn't have to break up with Allen, she was okay staying adopted by the Evans. That was the only reason she went to Joey and asked if he could adopt her. She didn't want to break up with Allen, she loved him too much, and he loved her too much. Now that is not a worry anymore since Joey was able to get them to agree to let them date. Because of that, she doesn't want her brother to adopt her anymore.

Once he finished talking to his sister, he thought the ugly feeling he was feeling was going to go away, but it didn't. The rest of the afternoon it was there in the pit of his stomach. All the way home, he went over the day's events from the moment he woke up to the present. Nothing he did or saw made him think that is why he was having these weird feelings.

When he got home and Caleb asked him what was on his mind, he told him about the weird feeling she was feeling all day long. They sat down together going over everything to see if they could figure it out together, but just like earlier, they couldn't.

Their conversation was interrupted when Helen walked in and told Joey what happened the night before between Bobby, Bill and the guys from Alamogordo. The news surprised Joey and Caleb that they asked Helen to repeat thinking they heard wrong, but when they heard the same thing the second time around, they knew there was trouble brewing.

"Does dad know about what happened last night?"

"No he doesn't, and I would like to keep it that way if it is all possible Joey." Joey could see worry in Helen's face. "I don't want any of those boys going back to jail because of one stupid thing and you know your father. Once he hears about what happened last night, he will send them back to jail without giving them a chance to explain themselves."

"Well if they did threaten some of the guys, they should go back to jail because that tells me mom that they didn't learn their lesson." Caleb jumped into the conversation. "We can't have guys like then around scaring the rest of us. What happens if the next time they can't control their temper and they actually do take a swing at one of us?"

"Caleb I agree with you, but that is neither here or there right now." Joey got up and walked over to Helen. "I agree with mom, we should handle this in house, not let it get to dad. We need to go and find out why he did what he did and make it clear that he can't do that again in the future. If he does, he will go back in front of dad, which we know none of those guys want that."

No one moved until they agreed on the course of action. It was Caleb that was holding them back, but once they got him to agree with them on how to handle the whole thing, they went looking for Bobby and Bill. They knew what they were going to say, but they had no idea how Bobby and Bill were going to react, so they asked several of the security agents to go with them.



{Welcome back one and all to another exciting chapter of this saga, `Regrets and Heartaches'. I know it started out a little slow, but as the chapter unfolded, it got a bit more exciting. As I have said many of times in the past, this story is finally getting a life of its own. It took a little longer than I wanted, but it is finally gotten there just the same.

As I said the chapter started out a little slow with the meeting that Harold called. I know some of you might ask why Harold called the meeting. I hope I cleared it up through the meeting, but just in case I didn't, let me answer that question. He needed to get several points across to those staying at the hotel, and he didn't want to do it one on one since what he had to say involved everyone concerned. Plus he was tired of hearing the complaints on how things weren't being done. He wanted to nip that issue in the bud before it got out of hand.

As the meeting went on, some drama did come from it. The boys should have known better not to try and face off with Bobby and Bill, more so Bobby. Even though Bobby isn't in the gang any more, he still acts as if he is and will for a long time. Remember how long it took Alex to get out of acting like his was still in the gang. I think it will take the same amount of time for Bobby to stop thinking like gangster. I just hope he gets it before he gets thrown back in jail.

What can I say about the feelings the guys were having on Monday on their way to school. I think those feelings are going to be there for a very long time. Even after everyone is home and getting well that weekend will always haunt the boys. Not to the point they need therapy, but enough for them to one in a while get them thinking about what had happened.

How many of you didn't think that talk that happened between Joey and the colonels wasn't going to happen. Come on now everyone, the talk was going to eventually happen. I'm just glad at the end of the talk they were all able to see eye to eye on everything. However, we learned a lot more in that talk on why Colonel Pigeon was acting the way he has been acting with Jacob. I really hope this is the last we hear about it, but who knows.

Man o man what is going on with Thomas mother? I agree with Thomas and his father that neither Joey nor Jacob deserves to be sued, but Thomas' mother didn't see it that way. It looks like she is set on suing someone and that someone is Joey, and maybe even Jacob, which neither of the guys deserves it. But like everyone today does when something goes wrong, they sue, and that is exactly what Anjelica is doing.

Finally the end of the chapter was the beginning of the chapter. What Bobby and Bill did got back to Helen, and in return it got to Joey. I like it that Joey and Helen want to keep this issue away from Harold, but I also wonder if it is a good idea. I don't want Bobby or Bill to go back to jail, but they shouldn't have done what they did. We all have to wait until the next chapter to see how this plot unfolds, if I unfold it in the next chapter.

There is so much going on in this saga. I can keep writing, but I won't. You guys are going to need to tune in to the next chapter to see what is going on. More plots are going to open and old ones will be closed. This story, like my others, will keep you on your toes. Don't miss what is coming up in the chapters to come.

I don't want to say too much more and spoil the future chapters to come, so I won't. I warn you though! Don't skip a chapter, or you will be lost. There is a so much to answer in the chapters to come. Keep reading the future chapters, and enjoy! Please email me and let me know how I am doing at jacobmillertex@aol.com, Thanks!}


The tenants of the hotel got a bit of a rude awakening when they were confronted with reasonable expectations. In a situation like the hotel, it's not a normal residence; it's a form of group home. The environment is designed to finish the job of parenting that the residents' parents abdicated. If I was in charge, the house rules might even be a bit more stringent. The concepts of cleanliness and organization are skills that these young men will need in life down the road. There should be daily inspections of the rooms and a list of things found not in keeping with good housekeeping responsibilities left for the room's occupant. These are habits they need to develop. Enough of my soap box speech!

The ROTC program leaders just can't seem to get past the fact that Jacob is gay. Ok, so he won't have a military career. It is rare that in any high school program that a student finds their career passion for life. With Jacob's leadership in place the program runs smoothly and is award winning. Yes, I see their problem of having two cadets of the same top rank. They finally got it right, leaving Jacob to do his job. The brigade competition will also be quite interesting.

Bobby and Bill are flirting with disaster. Like JPG, I'm glad that Joey and Helen are going to attempt to adjust their attitudes before letting Harold deal with them. If the situation comes to Harold's attention, he will have no choice; he'll have to do his duty as a judge. We all know what the result of that will be. Again, he would have no choice.

I'm glad the boys' that are of age are going to be able to seek gainful employment. Again, this is part of the character building needed to develop good, productive men out of boys. It's great that Jacob and Joey teamed up to present opportunities for the boys to begin their work lives. I still hope that the boys get and retain their jobs on merit and will be held to high standards and develop a great work ethics.

Thomas' mom is freaking out. I understand why, but she's going off on emotions rather than logic. All Angelica sees is her baby is hurt and she wants to strike back hoping that hurting someone else will lessen her and Thomas' pain. She's missing one point. The trucking company and the company's insurance will pay for Thomas as they did for Tom. Of course, Thomas' injuries don't appear to be nearly as severe or life altering as Tom's but there's still settlement monies available. I hope Thomas' dad gets on the ball and puts things on the right track. I hope he can quell Angelica's hunger for pointless revenge. Also, should she file suit, it will be dismissed as frivolous once a good defense lawyer presents his preliminary motions. No honorable and reasonable judge would hear the case.

Ok, what is eating at Joey? What has his gut feelings all in a knot? Like you, I will have to wait until the next chapter to find out.

Until Next Time,

"Daddy" Rick